Legal Documents Every Tennessee Family Should Have

There are certain legal documents that every family should have. Each of these documents provides you with the ability to make important decisions regarding the most critical aspects of your life. Executing these documents ensures that these decisions are left up to you rather than having to worry about loved ones making the difficult decisions. The following legal documents each have a different function but are equally important. If you have any questions about any of these documents or other issues, be sure to contact one of our Tennessee Wills lawyers.


A will is a critical document that every family should have.  In its simplest form, a will provides for the specific distribution of one’s estate after he or she has passed away. Wills can, though, provide so much more than merely a distribution of assets. A will provides both you and your family with a sense of security if anything were to ever happen to you.

While wills can range from very simple to very complex, a will can be specially tailored to any family’s specific needs. Whether a will contains provisions for who may care for minor children upon the death of a parent or similarly sets up a trust for the children, wills ensure that families take care of their specialized needs. A will is a vital document that no family should be without.

Power of Attorney

The Power of Attorney is a document that gives another individual, or an agent, the ability to act in a time of need on behalf of the person granting the authority, known as the principal. Specifically, there are two main types of Powers of Attorney: 1) Durable Power of Attorney and 2) Springing Power of Attorney.

The powers typically listed include the purchase and sale of real estate, banking matters, any investment transactions, and also operation of the principal’s business. Other powers may include the power to handle tax matters, to make gifts from the principal’s property, to enter into trusts, and to initiate or defend legal claims.

The difference between the types of a Power of Attorney involves when the transfer of authority takes effect. A Durable Power of Attorney allows an individual to designate an agent to act on his or her behalf to manage the affairs or assets of the principal. The principal has the ability to grant a broad set of powers or a small set of powers to the agent. A Durable Power of Attorney grants authority to the agent immediately upon executing the document.

A Springing Power of Attorney grants authority only when certain conditions are met. These conditions may include the incapacity or impairment of the principal. The authority under the Springing Power of Attorney will only last as long as the principal is impaired or incapacitated.

A Power of Attorney can provide you with the ease of mind that your affairs can be handled appropriately should the need ever arise. In order to ensure compliance with Tennessee law, it is important that a qualified Tennessee attorney drafts these documents.

Living Will

Although sometimes confused with a last will and testament, a living will is a completely different document, but is equally as important. A living will is a document known as an advanced directive that specifically states the principal’s desires for care that he or she would want or not want in the event of becoming incapacitated.

Typically, living wills describe life-prolonging treatments. In the living will, the individual indicates specifically which treatment he or she would want or not want if incapacitated. A living will can ease the burden on your family by laying out your desires for medical treatment should difficult decisions arise. Tennessee law provides very specific requirements for the execution of these documents. A Tennessee living will lawyer can be essential to the creation of these critical documents.

While these three types of legal documents are essential, other documents can also be of great assistance to any family. If you have any questions about these or any other legal documents, be sure to contact one of our Tennessee lawyers.

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